Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


8 Comments

How Gratitude Healed My Loneliness

heart close

(From my November newsletter)

They say laughter is the best medicine. But the medicine of gratitude reaches deeper into our hearts. Giving thanks for what we have creates positive energy all around us. Gratitude brings more blessings, maybe not right away, but soon.

In my lonely years, I wanted a partner who would be a good fit: respectful, dog-loving, spiritual… My longing softened toward acceptance and even joy when I started to give thanks for what I already had – friends, family, job, home, and that God had a plan for my life. Even though it took a while for my partner to find me, being thankful made me feel better, especially when I made a written list or gave thanks out loud. It helped me realize that my life was good, even without a partner. One of the messages in Trust the Timing, is that we need to be mostly okay as individuals before we can have a healthy relationship. When my partner found me, he shared his own habit of giving thanks at the end of every day. I wonder if gratitude helped lead us back to each other when the time was right.

Every challenge holds an opportunity for thankfulness. I can get overwhelmed by the tasks related to my father’s death in January. Sorting through the things that once belonged to my parents is still hard. But I am thankful for the timing. Dad died right after I retired from my stressful job, so I have time to deal with the physical tasks and the emotional grief. When I miss my parents, I can be thankful that they are together now and don’t miss each other anymore.

Not only can gratitude help us feel better emotionally, it’s good for us physically. Many studies have discovered a connection between gratitude and wellness. This article shows that being thankful is good for our hearts.

I am thankful for you, my readers, for your support and encouragement.
May you have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for now and in the days ahead.

 

 Trust the Timing,
A Memoir of Finding Love Again

makes a great gift for
lonely hearts,
soulmate searchers,
dog lovers,
children of the 70s,
and anyone who likes a happy ending.

To order a copy or write a review,
Please click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


6 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday: Love the Questions

 

“Be patient about all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…”

__ Rainer Maria Rilke

 

PS. Here’s my poem inspired by the  quote:

 

Things will work out.

Muddy waters

Take a while to clear.

 

Light will come.

Trust the timing.

Love the questions.

 

It’s more than acceptance.

It’s an adventure of the soul

Exploring the unknown.

                                                          JM

muddy sparkles (3).JPG

One-Liner Wednesday, is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. For more one-liners, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/11/22/one-liner-wednesday-connecting/

One liner Weds 2017

Rules/Guidelines:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


12 Comments

Hold Out for True Love

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s Song Lyric Sunday theme from Helenswordsoflife.com is, “getting old.” In the song I’m sharing, James Taylor must be singing about someone with some age, and since he’s about 7 years older than me, I decided “Like Everyone She Knows” will work. Plus Helen always says we can go our own way with the theme.

I just discovered this song on November 9th while painting. It’s odd that I don’t remember hearing it before, since James Taylor is my favorite signer/songwriter.  I think I missed his whole album, New Moon Shine, in 1991. Regardless, the song came when the time was right, just like my true love. I did a double take when I heard JT singing about me, or who I was 7 years ago, and the main message in my book, Trust the Timing  which makes a great gift, by the way.

Here are the lyrics from azlyrics:

“Like Everyone She Knows” By James Taylor

Like everyone she knows, she’s holding out for true love,
waiting on an answer, ready for a change.
And everywhere she goes, she’s just a little bit on the lookout.
A day might mean tomorrow, questions still remain.
It’s not that she’s so sad, she always was a happy soul.
But lately she gets to wonder to herself, what’s the good of going on anymore?

I see her in her room, sitting at the window,
wondering if she’s pretty, feeling just a little small tonight.
She thinks of going home, giving up on the city,
maybe moving back down to Mobile, it’s not that far to fall.
I know she won’t see me but I might just say anyhow,
if I could be right there right now as I myself was told.

Hold tight to your heart’s desire, never ever let it go.
Let nobody fool you into giving it up too soon.
Tend your own fire, lay low and be strong, wait awhile, wait it out,
wait it on out, wait it out, it’ll come along.

I know she won’t see me but I might just say anyhow,
if I could be right there right now as I myself was told.

Hold tight to your heart’s desire, never ever let it go.
Let nobody fool you into giving it up too soon.
Tend your own fire, lay low and be strong,
Wait it out, wait it out, wait it on out.
Wait it out, let it come along, oh, wait awhile, wait awhile.

(https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jamestaylor/likeeveryonesheknows.html)

 

 


21 Comments

Shortcuts and Coonhounds

SOC winner 2017

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “shortcut or cut short.” The prompt is provided by Linda Hill. You can learn more about this weekly event and read other streams by clicking this link: https://lindaghill.com/2017/11/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-417/

And now, on with the stream of consciousness!

I took a few shortcuts in the corn maze last week in the mountains. The sign said to stay on the path. I usually follow rules, but lately, I’ve started taking a little glee in breaking minor rules like staying on the path. In the corn maze, I only got off the path and cut through the corn stalks when I could clearly see the path I was aiming for, just through the stalks a bit. My companions were hesitant but followed reluctantly, but I guess they trusted my determination. We still didn’t find all the mailboxes with the puzzle pieces, but I got some exercise in the great outdoors.

My problem step dog, Dixie Doodle, tries to take shortcuts to freedom by figuring out ways to break or squeeze through the fence. She can get through a surprisingly small space for a big dog. But she was cut short after David fixed the gate between the front and back yard so she ends up in a small space instead of squeezing through the outer gate which still needs fixing. I bet given enough time she would be able to get through anything. It’s not like she doesn’t ever get out. She has a big back yard and David takes her for a mile-long walk every night, except when we are out of town which does not happen often. But I don’t like to leave her. I’ve decided that I want to take her with us next time we are gone more than a day or two. Dogs are family, and we need to figure out a way to include her on our vacations. Our other dog, Marigold is old and doesn’t mind sleeping the day away. She is 15 and easy to take care of, easier than Doodle who is maybe 10 or 11 but shows no signs of slowing down. Doodle’s baying when anyone walks by the house and when it’s time to eat is LOUD. She has been called “The Mouth of the South.”

Doodle the Queen

Don’t let that stately look fool you.  She’s crazy.

 

Dixie Doodle is a Treeing Walker Coonhound who David rescued from starvation a few years before he found me again. She is serious about food. And her walks. He met someone recently who has a Walker coonhound of the same variety – treeing walker – who is named Dixie. She is also an escape artist. Are all Walker coonhounds escape artists? Once a dog learns that escape is possible, he or she will continue to try.

There were no shortcuts to my first love (who also loves dogs) finding me again. It took 39 years for him to become ready. Okay, I had some work to do, too. Or maybe there were cosmic shortcuts I don’t know about that could have kept 39 years from becoming 49 or 59. I don’t want to imagine having to wait that long. But the dogs kept me company in the meantime.

You can read more about the company of dogs and the 39 years it took for first love to return home in Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.  I think my next book might be about Doodle, the crazy coon hound who I have come to love.

back cover painting (2)

This is the back cover painting for my book. You can spot Doodle easily.

PS: I’m writing this early because I’ll be a a writer’s conference all day Saturday. Will check in when I can.

Here are the Stream of Consciousness Saturday rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


25 Comments

The Blessings of Letting Go

I’m posting this from the mountains of North Carolina just after midnight. Yesterday was cold and misty, so my friend and I stayed in most of the day and enjoyed a fire. Right now, the temperature is in the upper 20s and a little snow has fallen. Since I’m on vacation and will be seeing my grand daughter this weekend, I’m trying to rest up as much as I can. So instead of a regular post, I’m sharing my October Newsletter below.

Will check back in later. 🙂

IMG_3122 (3)

October Newsletter

I’ve been wondering about fall leaves. How can something that appears to be dying be so beautiful? Maybe because they are beautiful, and it’s not so much about dying as it is letting go to make room for something better.

This article explains how shorter days and cooler nights signal leaf-dropping trees to line up “abscission” (scissor) cells in just the right place to release their leaves. This letting go saves the trees energy and protects them from freezing.

In Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, I learned to let go of burdensome relationships and resentments to make room for love. Letting go is rarely an easy process for me. Like I wrote in chapter 21, a friend once told me that “everything she ever let go of had claw marks on it.” I thought she was joking. Now, I understand.

The benefits of letting go do pay off in time.

When we let go of burdens, we make room for blessings.

 We let go of resentment to make room for love.
We let go of worry to make room for hope.
We let go of doubt to make room for joy.

Lately, I’ve been practicing letting go with my adult children’s lives and my parents’ possessions. The tasks are not easy. Okay, they are downright hard, and sometimes, I’m not that good at it. The logistical challenges make up the tip of the iceberg while the emotional challenges weigh heavy beneath the surface. But I’m doing the work because my grown children need to make their own decisions, and my parents don’t need material possessions in heaven. It helps to remember this message:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28 – 30

My children will learn as I did, (or rather do, since I’m learning all the time) and some day, someone else will be living in my parent’s house, just like new blossoms and leaves will grow on the trees when spring returns. In the meantime, deer have found comfort in the stillness of my parents’ backyard and make their beds in the fallen leaves.

What do you want to let go of?
What blessings might you make room for?


26 Comments

Keeping Our Dreams Alive

(From my September Newsletter)

the-dogwood-has-leaves.jpg

Did you ever think something was dead, but it surprised you?

Around this time last year, I pulled up a small dogwood tree growing right next to our church foundation. There was no room for it to grow there. It was not easy, but I got most of the root. I planted the dogwood behind the church and gave it some water. The leaves withered and eventually dropped off. But it was close to leaf dropping time anyway, so I hoped it would come back in the spring. Through the whole season of spring I looked for new growth and saw nothing but a bare stem. I figured it was dead. I should have put some fertilizer on it. Then, in August, I just happened to notice two tiny leaves. Then four. The dogwood was still alive! Its leaves are growing as I write this. I don’t know if it will survive the winter, but there’s always hope.

There was a time when I wondered if romance was dead for me. But I never completely gave up hope. I had no idea that my first love would find me 39 years later, and that the love we had felt for each other as teenagers was still alive, dormant, waiting patiently for the perfect time.

(Sounds like a good story, right? You can order it here.)

 

Did you ever have a dream that you thought was dead? Maybe you’ve thought it was too late. Maybe you’ve felt like giving up, thinking: what’s the use? I’ll never be good enough. I think we’ve all been there.

In high school, I was pretty good at art, and I loved to write. But I didn’t value these talents. I  valued science. I wanted to save the planet. So, I declared biology as my major.  But higher math and chemistry got harder in college. I could have gotten a tutor, but I wasn’t supposed to need a tutor.

Discovering psychology was the best thing that could have happened. As much as I wanted to help others, there were things I needed to learn to help myself. After college, I spent over 30 years as a substance abuse counselor. I learned a lot during those years and was blessed with the privilege of being able to help others. And every now and then, I would dabble in saving animals, caring for the planet, being an artist, and writing. But it was just dabbling. There were long stretches when I did not create art and my only writing consisted of clinical notes at my job. When my marriage ended, I painted like crazy for a while and wrote in journals as part of my therapy. But I didn’t think I’d ever be an artist or writer full time. I had to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. Retirement seemed like a faraway land I would never reach.

But sometimes, I would dabble in my old dreams.

Then in 2011, my first love found me again. People got goosebumps when we told our story, so I started writing that story. I had a lot to learn about creative writing, about details, conveying feelings, and describing scenes. There were times when I wondered if I had what it took to write and publish a real book.

But you’ll never know if you’re capable of something
until you’ve given it a go. ~ Kristina Adams

For much of my life, I’ve had a habit of thinking my work wasn’t good enough, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m changing that habit.

This article by Kristina Adams explains how striving for perfection can damage our confidence and motivation (not to mention our health). It’s helped me be reasonably proud of my book. It’s a good book. But what I’m most proud of is that Trust the Timing is a book of overcoming challenges and never giving up hope, a book that can help people.

Now, I have reached that once distant land they call “retirement.” Except that I’m not really retired. I’m writing and painting! I dabble in saving the planet, or at least a tree here and there.

What about your dreams? Did you ever think that you weren’t good enough to follow your heart’s desire? I am telling you now that you are good enough. There’s some part of your dream that still lives, a part you can nurture into new growth. Your dream might change, and that’s okay. Maybe you’re already living your dream, or maybe you’re just thinking about it. Dabbling. Either way, don’t give up.

May your sweet dreams become reality.


20 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday: Don’t Force It.

puzzle pieces

 

“If it don’t fit, don’t force it.”

( From Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.)

I first heard this expression many years ago from a co-worker who is in recovery. The lesson became clear at the end of my second rebound when I realized my boyfriend and I were like two puzzle pieces that just didn’t fit together.

Can you think of a situation where trying to force something didn’t work?

One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/09/27/one-liner-wednesday-works-for-them/